“Finding a Home for Your Work: Should You Submit to Contests or During Open Reading Periods?”

Poets & Writers Magazine, 2020.

When Leslie Jamison first heard about the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, the discovery changed the trajectory of her career. It was 2011 and her first novel, The Gin Closet, had come out with the Free Press, a now-shuttered imprint of Simon & Schuster, a year earlier; she was writing essays but not yet thinking in terms of a book. “I loved Graywolf’s poetry books and felt a sense of kinship with the work they were putting into the world,” she says, “and somehow the idea of this contest got me thinking about what might happen if I assembled my essays into a collection.”

American Folly, American Dream

Guernica Magazine, 2019.

In 1997, J. David Bamberger commissioned the world’s largest man-made bat cave, to be built on a large tract of parched land in the Texas Hill Country he had purchased almost 30 years earlier. The cave cost at least $170,000 and was dubbed the Chiroptorium, a marriage of auditorium and chiroptera, the taxonomic order for bats. Its structure consisted of three domes—eight thousand square feet of roosting space—made from twenty tons of rebar sprayed with gunite, a mixture of sand, water, and cement most often used in the construction of in-ground pools. “I wanted to demonstrate that man-made habitat can mitigate man-made damage,” Bamberger told a reporter for BATS magazine.


KGB Bar in NYC Fights to Stay Afloat”

Poets & Writers Magazine, 2020.

The website for KGB Bar, one of the New York City literary world’s most iconic gathering places, currently features a black banner: “In compliance with New York State government orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, KGB Bar and The Red Room will be closed till we’re able to gather and work safely.” The bar and event space, which every evening is typically filled with artists and art lovers enjoying a beverage and a performance or reading, has been closed since March 14.

The Campaign to Save Lambda Literary

Poets & Writers Magazine, 2020.

Last June, Alexander Chee stood in front of a cheering crowd at the 2019 Lambda Literary Awards to receive the organization’s Trustee Award, which, as actor Anthony Rapp explained in Chee’s introduction, honors “individuals who have broken new ground through their achievements, passionate commitment, and contributions” to the LGBTQ literature and arts community. In his acceptance speech Chee said, “I’ve been thinking about this ecosystem that our communities create, that bit by bit lifts us up even though we don’t know it at the time.” 

© 2018 by Emma Hine. Cover art is Rope Bridge, Carrick-a-Rede. County Antrim, Ireland from the Library of Congress.